Rowcroft and The Ness Care Group announce Dementia and Palliative Care Conference in the South West

Categories: Education.
Rowcroft Hospice is thrilled to unveil its plans to host a Dementia and Palliative Care Conference, the first of its kind in the South West, to be held at Buckfast Abbey Conference Centre on 26 March 2024.


In partnership with The Ness Care Group, the event is part of a pioneering initiative where experts, caregivers and thought leaders will converge to share knowledge, spark dialogue and shape a future where every individual affected by dementia receives the dignity and support they deserve.

Acknowledging that dementia is the leading cause of death in the UK and recognising the profound impact of dementia within the local community, Rowcroft believes that fostering a collective conversation around best practices, innovative thinking and future strategies is imperative.

The key objectives of the conference are to delve into the latest advancements and innovations in dementia, prevention, care and treatment that highlight the latest research into dementia and shine a light on the vital role of palliative care in enhancing the quality of life for individuals living with dementia.

The conference will include national and international experts and key speakers including Nathan Davies, Associate Professor of Ageing and Applied Health Research at University College London, who commented:

“Access to good care for people with dementia towards the end of life is so important. We need to deliver solutions that focus on the person and their individual needs.”

Karen Harrison Dening, Head of Research and Publications at Dementia UK is also a keynote speaker at the conference. She said:

“People with dementia are no different from their peers without a diagnosis, in that they too desire to maintain independence and autonomy for as long as possible.”

Hospice chief executive Mark Hawkins said “We are incredibly proud to care for our community and want to ensure specialist, quality end-of-life care is available to everyone who needs us, irrespective of diagnosis, circumstance or background.”

By organising this conference, we are not only advancing our knowledge and expertise in this critical field but also showcasing Rowcroft’s commitment to innovation and excellence in dementia and palliative support”.

Eloy van Hal, the Senior Advisor and Founder of The Hogeweyk®, will also address the conference. He pioneered this groundbreaking facility, the first of its kind globally, dedicated to housing people with advanced dementia.

The Hogeweyk®, in The Netherlands is designed as a village complete with a town square, supermarket, hairdressers, theatre, pub, café-restaurant, and 27 houses. It has received numerous accolades for its inventive design and distinctive care approach.

The Ness Care Group, leading specialists in dementia across Devon, are supporting the conference and Jonathan Hanbury, Founder & CEO said

“We are on the cusp of an elderly care crisis in the South West and it is imperative that we start talking and planning for a future that enables those at risk of frailty to live well for their entire life. That is why we are so proud to be partnering with Rowcroft and bringing dementia innovation to the forefront of the agenda through this pioneering event”.

Many more speakers are confirmed for the day and for more information please visit




About Rowcroft Hospice

It takes time, compassion, medical expertise and money to help patients and families make the most of every day, but every year Rowcroft Hospice helps around 2,500 people living with life-limiting illnesses in South Devon to do just that.

By providing comfort, support and specialist services, the hospice enables families to share precious and joyful moments when they are needed most – whether it’s a beautiful wedding, remarkable reunion, simple thank you or gentle cuddle.

From Dartmouth to Dawlish and up onto Dartmoor, Rowcroft cares for 80% of its patients in their own homes with a team of community nurse specialists, social workers, and bereavement volunteers. The team also provides occupational therapy, physiotherapy, complementary therapy, spiritual care and music therapy, delivering a holistic approach tailored to individual needs.

Day and night, Rowcroft’s award-winning Hospice at Home team provide free specialist support to patients at home in their last few of weeks of life. The team helps to monitor and manage symptoms to enable patients to be comfortable and also offers support for loved ones, enabling carers to take much needed breaks. The service includes a dedicated telephone support line 24 hrs a day.

In Rowcroft’s 12-bedded Inpatient Unit in Torquay, the hospice’s team provides specialist care for patients whose complex needs cannot be met at home. Along with high quality health and social care, we also offer delicious homecooked meals and access to our beautiful gardens. The welcoming and homely environment helps patients and families to make the most of precious time together.

Rowcroft is an independent charity with around 75% of its funding derived from the incredible generosity of local people. The hospice team fully acknowledges the current challenging economic climate and is grateful for the local community’s continued support through these tough times; every pound raised makes a real difference.

With an increasingly ageing local population, the demand for Rowcroft’s care has never been greater. The charity currently cares for around one in three people with life-limiting illnesses across South Devon and has ambitious plans to expand its care to reach more people.

For more information, please visit

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